Sensorineural hearing loss

Sensory hair cells

Humans are born with about 15,000 hair cells in the cochlea of each ear. Hair cells are commonly lost due to noise exposure in work settings or as a result of aging, certain viral infections or exposure to medicines that are toxic to ears.

These lost hair cells do not spontaneously regenerate, leading to progressive degrees of hearing loss. This condition is called sensorineural hearing loss (SNHL), which impacts more than 90 percent of all people with hearing loss.

While hearing loss is often thought to be caused by aging, the condition is strongly correlated with living in an industrialized society and associated noise exposure and other environmental factors.

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